yet another sad lily beetle story
Well, I finally have them. And wow. Wow. It is just almost beyond describing. I am in the middle of nowhere and only buy lily bulbs (not plants) but they found me. I wonder if they are flying in because it is just never ending. I spotted one or 2 last year (and proudly killed them) but there are literally hundreds this year. I have hundreds of lilies so those little buggers really found lily beetle nirvana.
I am not squeamish but have had to resort to squishing methods I never never thought I would be able to do. The plants are so crowded that I have to kill 'em where I see 'em or they get away. I am good at catching them - they fall into my hand, the little fools!
One of the saddest things is that I can hardly see my garden. I looked at a post last night where someone said they can't stand to look at their lilies anymore. I feel a bit like that and it is so sad because lilies and daylilies are my top/fave plants. But I also find that I walk through my garden and as soon as I spot one (which is every time), I focus so closely on the leaves that I can't see the flowers or the garden as a whole. I was shocked to see that some plants were blooming long enough to be ready to dead head - I did not even notice despite walking past many times. I also get SO angry because I sometimes break buds off (about 6 off a day lily this morning) in my 'eagerness' to kill 'em where I see 'em.
Are people giving up on lilies because of this?
I did another net search last night - seems like anything that will work is either a nasty poison that kills everything, even good bugs, OR you have to get so close to spray them that you might as well squish them. One thing I learned - they love fritillaria so that was my signal plant this spring. Killed tons early on when it was easier - but they keep coming. One other thing that seemed to help a bit - I spread composted sheep manure (1-2 inches) on some beds last fall. I did not find ANY on those beds in spring but they were in all the other beds around there that got no compost. Maybe that helped keep them down? I am going to do all the beds this year and see. Was thinking of starting some lilies early in pots and putting them out as bait plants early on to try to lure the creepy buggers out so I can squish them. (One article said they make a squeaking sound to ward of predators - all I have heard so far is a certain crunching sound and some cursing - oh wait that was me. I am losing it...)
Thanks for listening.